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My Route du Bonheur

Ireland – Castles of the South

Francis Brennan
By Francis Brennan, Owner of Park Hotel Kenmare

Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge

+1 800 735 2478 * *Local charges apply
“I was born in Dublin and for as long as I can remember I always wanted to work in hospitality. Was it because my parents dreamt of building a hotel in the west of the country but never managed to do it? Or because of the suit my grandfather wore that I wanted in a child’s size so I could wear it wandering the corridors of my place. After living overseas, I returned to Cork to work as a hotel manager and then I settled for good in Kenmare, in the south of the country. I got to travel a lot around Ireland when I was presenting “At Your Service”, a hit TV show here in this country. The South I would like to show you has immense treasures. Roam the length of its crests, play golf on the finest courses in the world, and enter century-old castles that recount the very particular history of a country quite unlike any other …”
Suggestion of itinerary
  • 4 hotels
  • from US$ 1,231.16 *
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To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.


1 Ballyfin — 1 Night
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Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin - Ireland

Hotel and restaurant in a park. “Yesterday, I saw a most delightful place indeed, much beyond any place I have seen in Ireland – Ballyfin”. The observation by an aristocratic 18th century visitor is still there today. The 600 acre demesne is a place of tranquility and great natural beauty. Created and refined over the past 400 years with its woodlands, lake, water features, grottos, follies and walled gardens, it provides an idyllic private world for guests to explore and enjoy a range of activities. At its centre is the late Georgian House which has been carefully and thoroughly restored to provide an exceptional level of comfort and luxury combined with all the facilities to be expected in a grand hotel. ... Learn moreless

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21 rooms
(from) US$ 642.15
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On the route

King John’s Castle, Limerick

King John’s Castle, Limerick

Built over the foundations of an ancient Viking fortification, King John’s Castle dates back to the early 13th century. Its impressive round towers and high wall in the Anglo-Norman fortress architectural style still dominate Limerick’s old medieval quarter. The new design launched in summer 2013 uses touchscreens depicting the history and the many battles fought around the site. A real find for adults and kids …

2 Kenmare — 2 Nights
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Park Hotel Kenmare

Kenmare - Ireland

Restaurant and hotel in town. The Heritage town of Kenmare, in mystical Kerry, is home to this Victorian gem. Dating from 1897, the hotel enjoys a splendid location, with manicured gardens running to the lapping shores of Kenmare Bay. This is the Ireland of which you have always dreamed with its rugged coastal drives. Outdoor lovers will enjoy the many mountain and coastal walks in the area, championship golf links and fishing nearby. The SAMAS spa offers a wide range of personalised treatments. At the end of an idyllic day you can watch a classic in the hotel’s small private cinema, enjoying a very rare aged, peaty malt. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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43 rooms
(from) US$ 232.50
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Sheen Falls Lodge

Kenmare Co. Kerry - Ireland

Hotel and restaurant on a river. Surrounded by purple heather-covered mountains, Kenmare is one of the spots in Ireland that the Irish themselves like best. Sheen Falls Lodge is not only perfectly placed for exploring the southwest, the Ring of Beara, Ring of Kerry and the famous Killarney Lakes, but it is also known for its piano-jazz ambience, its collection of old Irish whiskeys, and the dishes prepared with the salmon caught in the nearby river. There are unrivalled views of Kenmare Bay, the McGuillicuddy Reeks and cascading Sheen waterfalls. All of this, combined with outstanding Irish hospitality and Celtic legends, creates a sense of magic that pervades. ... Learn moreless

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77 rooms
(from) US$ 232.50
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On the route

The finest golf courses

The finest golf courses

The famous golfer and winner of 8 Majors, Tom Watson, thinks the Ballybunion course is one of the finest in the world. Located in the Shannon estuary, it runs along this piece of windswept coastline. A few kilometres away, the Waterville course is also very popular with golfing fans. The view from the tee box at the 17th hole is absolutely amazing. Golf World magazine named it one of the finest golf courses in Britain and Ireland. And lastly, who hasn’t heard of Killarney, where the famous Irish Open was held in 2010 and 2011. A course for golfing greats and a region with lovely greens for the fans… 

3 Co. Wexford — 1 Night
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Marlfield House

Co. Wexford - Ireland

Hotel and restaurant in the country. To arrive in this part of Ireland from Dublin, pass through the magical countryside of Wicklow, a county nestled between the sea and the mountains and boasting some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes. Rosslare port is also very close to Marlfield House. It is in this unspoilt, yet easily accessible region that the Bowe family chose to create their gem of a hotel, a model of conviviality and elegance complete with a rose garden and woodland walks. Dining in the conservatory is delightful. Here, life is about enjoyment, don’t we call the Irish “the Latin people of the North”? ... Learn moreless

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18 rooms
1 villa
(from) US$ 124
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Texts : © Guides Gallimard
Photos: 2013 Tony Webster